Balloon Sandals

While doing a little blog surfing, I came across an awesome site called Running With Glitter (great name!).  She did *this* really fun project making flip flops covered in balloons.  I loved them and decided to give it a try myself (with the help of some tiny fingers). (and toes).

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Since it’s really the very end of summer, we happened to find some flip flops on clearance at Old Navy (they are a little too big, so maybe they will work for next summer too!).  Then we searched the dollar store for some water balloons.  I ended up having to go back for a second package, partially because I was running out of some of the colors, and partially because Skylar kept stealing them.  So save the extra trip and get 2.

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Take 5 balloons of your choice and stack them by alternating them front and back, like so:

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(please excuse my old manicure)

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Then have some tiny fingers hold those for you over the straps of the sandals.  Take another balloon and tie it tightly around the strap and all of the stacked balloons.

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Let go, and fluff the bunch.  It should look like this:

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Continue to do this until the strap is full.  I did 5 bunches on the outside strap, and 4 on the inside.

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Insert little toes, and voila!!  Fun balloon sandals!

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And, you will probably have lots of balloons left over to blow up, or have a water balloon fight!  Have fun!

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Lizz

Summer Bucket List Check-In #2

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It’s time again to check in on our Summer Bucket List progress.  .

If you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about (what’s a summer bucket list?), you can read the original post *here*. This is basically a to-do list for the summer. The idea and link up is from a lovely blog called Little Wonder Days.

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I think we’ve done a little better this time, so let’s take a look!!

(Items that are blue were checked off at our last SBL check-in.  Red items are newly checked off)

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  1. Go swimming at the pool
  2. Go to the beach – I’m definitely a pool person, so I’m glad a birthday party helped us make this happen
  3. Celebrate Skylar’s birthday at the park
  4. Go camping
  5. Roast marshmallows and make S’mores
  6. Make a complete meal over a fire
  7. Catch and release fireflies
  8. Go horseback riding
  9. Ride in a paddle boat
  10. Go miniature golfing – Fun Day at Kid Quest!
  11. Teach Skylar how to play baseball
  12. Teach Skylar earn how to ride a bike
  13. Go to a play – Skylar and I got all dolled up an saw Aladdin.  Theater in the round was so cool!
  14. Visit the Art Institute, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Planetarium, and Aquarium
  15. Ride the train
  16. Visit the Children’s Museum
  17. Visit the Zoo
  18. Take a bike ride to the botanical gardens
  19. Go on a scavenger hunt
  20. Play flashlight tag
  21. Visit a farmers market
  22. Make homemade ice cream sandwiches
  23. Make frozen bananas
  24. Make Popsicles
  25. Go to a “you pick” farm
  26. Go to a waterpark – Skylar’s camp has taken her to waterparks more times than I can count!!
  27. Have a water balloon fight – Again, a camp-related check-off
  28. Go to an outdoor concert – We saw Ralph’s World at Ravinia.  So fun!
  29. Make bubbles and a bubble wand
  30. Go to a parade – 4th of July Parade!
  31. See fireworks – In our car while driving home, but I say it still counts
  32. Visit a fair – Ribfest was amazing!  Read all about it *Here*
  33. Go bowling
  34. Go to an amusement park
  35. Have a family game night
  36. Take a walk
  37. Go to the drive-in
  38. Go to a baseball game – Skylar got to go to a White Sox game with camp.  I’ll count it even thought it wasn’t a Cubs game =)
  39. Read books outside
  40. Roller Skate – Skylar’s loving roller skating now.  I’m going to have to dig out my roller blades
  41. Have a no-tv day
  42. Organize the house/spring cleaning
  43. Have a wii night
  44. Plant something and keep it alive – Skylar and Grandma planted a tomato plant, and we just got to eat the tomatoes.  Tasty!
  45. Finally use our butterfly kit
  46. Try at least 10 new recipes – I’d say we’ve got this one covered.  It’s been nothing but new recipes around here lately
  47. Introduce a few new foods
  48. Learn to jump rope – I got a video to prove how good she’s doing!
  49. Visit both ice cream shops near us often
  50. Make lemonade like I saw on Diners Drive-ins & Dives (by grinding whole lemons!) (See below for a video of this)
  51. Donate Skylar’s hair to locks of love – You can read about this adventure *here*

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Hmm…Looks like we’ve still got some work to do on this list!

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Did you make a bucket list? Feel free to share it in the comments area. Is there something special you did or want to do this summer? Tell us about it!

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Have a great weekend everyone!

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Lizz

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***Did you stick around for that Lemonade explaination??***

For those of you that are not familiar with the gloriousness that is Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives (Triple D), allow me to explain. It’s a show on the Food Network, with Guy Fieri. He travels around the country finding little hole-in-the-wall places with amazing food. This show makes me drool every time!

.

The specific episode I was talking about is one where Guy goes to the Gold ‘N Silver Inn in Reno Nevada. They make a dish there called Baked Lemonade Porkchops. (For that amazing recipe, Click Here) I was most intrigued with the way they made their lemonade. They ground up whole lemons, and then strained out the pulp. I want to try this so bad!! I found a video of all of this, so if you are drooling like I am right now, check it out…

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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rA86w7EOF7k]

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Review: Charbroil at Naperville Ribfest

Those of you that know are probably raising your eyebrow and thinking…Uh, Lizz, wasn’t this festival a few weekends ago.  And yes, you would be right.  I know I am sooooo late getting this posted, but I’m sure you can all tell that posting around here has been few and far between over the last few weeks.  I really want to share what we found out in Naperville.

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Jenn over at Eating Bender asked me to write a review on one booth that would be set up at the Naperville Ribfest.  As if I needed more than the smallest nudge to go!  Once I got more info I realized what I was getting myself into.  Charbroil!!  Yeah, uh huh!!  Apparently, they have partnered this year with Flatout, and are traveling around the country, hitting up all the awesome summer festivals they can find.  Alright, count me in!  Plus, Mara was going, so meeting-up plans were made.

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Here’s the gist of my day (in miles)

  • 16 miles – Distance to the morning meeting/pool party I needed to attend in the early afternoon.
  • 40 miles – Distance from the meeting to the Naperville Ribfest
  • Eleventy thousand miles – Distance wasted driving around lost, after getting directions to the wrong park, and stopping to buy tickets at a local jewel.
  • 50 Miles – Distance South my heart sank when we arrived and were told by the parking attendant that the fest was at capacity.  Closed.  No More.  =(
  • 3 miles – Distance spent driving around looking for a parking spot, determined to get into fest somehow.
  • .1 miles – Distance of parking spot we found near the North Gate.  Yeah!!
  • 36 miles – Distance home.
  • For a Grand total of…approx 105.1 miles actually driven!!

Whew! So yes, we had tons of trouble.  It took us so long to get there, that Mara and her hubby Adam had left by the time we found parking.  Boo.  Thankfully though, our little getting lost adventure paid off.  Since we had purchased our tickets already, we were allowed to wait in line to enter the park.  They let in 1 person when 1 left.  Thankfully, it really didn’t take as long as we thought, and in no time, we were in!!

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You probably can’t see it, but that’s STYX playing up there!

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We counted our blessings a little too soon though.  It took us so long to get there, and to get in, that when we found the booth…

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…It was closed!!  Oh No!!

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Thankfully, those heads you can see at the top of the trailer there were, in fact, the same heads I was supposed to be talking to.  They were very sweet about my ridiculous drive in, and were kind enough to share a great big bag-o-goodies with me.

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My mom and Skylar were with me, so we decided to take advantage and have some fun at the fair.

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We took in the sights…

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…Skylar and I rode the Ferris Wheel… (check out that crowd!)

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…and Skylar rocked at the fish game! Now we have pets!

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And of course, we ate…

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And I taught my mom, who is blind in one eye (and apparently mostly blind in the other!), how to use the fancy camera

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Love it!

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We knew we had one more booth to hit up…

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The crazy carnie food booth.  But wouldn’t you know it…just as soon as it was my turn to order, the festival closed, and they were “unable to serve” me.  Hmph.

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What a day!!  All I kept thinking about all the (very long) way home, was how bad I felt that I couldn’t do a proper review, and that I felt I had missed some things by getting there so late.  What’s a girl to do?…

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GO AGAIN THE NEXT DAY!!

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Yup, I’m crazy.  This time it was Steve, Skylar, and I who ventured all the way back south to enjoy the festivities.  This time we were much more successful.  We knew exactly where to park (wink!), and were able to buy tickets right at the park.  And guess what?!?!

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The booth was open!! Hurray!!

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I easily found my contact person, Jenn, who told me all about what they were trying to accomplish there.  They wanted to create a casual backyard feel.  Between the Bags Game…

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…the grills everywhere…

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..and the smell of meat cooking, we felt like we were hanging out at a backyard barbeque.

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Jenn offered us some food, and we were very willing to try out what they were grillin’.  I had a Bubba Burger on a Flatout Foldit (amazing flatbread!).  Skylar munched on some chicken andouille sausage, while Steve went for the chicken apple sausage, also wrapped in a Foldit.  It was all hot off the grill and delicious.

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I took a chance to walk around and check out all the activity going on at the booth.  There was a large area with grills, and all of the Charbroil people were answering questions left and right about their products.

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There were a few computers set up to sign up and win prizes.

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Skylar’s favorite part was the giant wheel you get to spin if you win the bag toss game.

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I see a promising future on The Price is Right!

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My impression?  This booth was great!  I think they achieved exactly what they wanted to: A casual backyard bbq party.  Well done Charbroil and Flatout.  We really enjoyed “partying” with you!

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We then visited quite a few other booths to get ourselves some serious ribs.

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And those carnie treats we missed out on?  Not this time!

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Chocolate Covered Deep Fried Bacon (delish!)

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Deep Fried Snickers…I don’t know how I can eat a regular candy bar again!

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We finished the day with one last ride.

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(I love this picture…what do you think?  Is it artsy, or just blurry?)

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Wow.  This was one heck of a post.  If you are still reading, I thank you.  And I’ll thank you by giving you a heads up…I will be hosting a giveaway tomorrow, completely related to this post, so come back to enter!.  I’ll see you tomorrow!

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Lizz

Gluten Free Friday – Sausage and Bratwurst Kebobs

Welcome to Gluten Free Friday!

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For those of you who might be wondering where we’ve been all week, don’t worry, we’ve just been busy busy busy.  Everytime I try to sit down and write a post, life gets in the way.  I’ve got lots to show you though, so bear with me! (I hope this is just a summer thing!!)

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Anyways…onto the deliciousness for today!

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Sausage and Bratwurst Kebobs

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There is something about kebobs on the grill that just screams summer to me.  This was a fun twist on a traditional kebob.  I was able to find a few different gluten free chicken sausages at Trader Joe’s.  We cut those up into pieces (about 5 per link).  Then we chopped up all of the veggies.  We all like different veggies, so we prepared orange peppers, sweet onions, baby bella mushrooms, zuchinni, and yellow squash, and then chose our own combos.

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Not only are those some lovely looking veggies, but how cool is that rainbow that randomly showed up on our counter?!

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Now, using either bamboo or metal skewers, layer on your choice of sausage/brats/veggies.

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Next, brush each kabob with a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Take them outside and let your resident grillmaster work his/her magic.  In my house that would not be me.  The grill and I are not a good match.

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These babies are not going to take long to cook.  Maybe a few minutes on each side.  We made some brown rice to go with our kebobs, and by the time everything was all said and done, it looked beautiful!

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Even Skylar’s orangey plate looked great

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Tasty. Easy. Healthy. Gluten Free!

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Have you ever kebob’ed something “outside of the box”?  I’d love to hear about it!

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Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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Lizz

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If you want to catch up on our other Gluten Free Friday Posts, *Click Here*

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I will be linking this post to these fun parties:

Made by You Mondays @ Skip to my Lou

CraftOManiac Mondays @ CraftOManiac

Inspire Me Mondays @ Singing Three Little Birds

Craftastic Monday @ Sew Can Do

Playdate @ Beneath the Rowan Tree

Made It Myself Monday @ You Had Me At Craft

Tip Me Tuesday @ Tip Junkie

Too Cute Tuesday @ Funky Polka Dot Giraffe

Tuesday Time-Out @ Reasons to Skip the Housework

Tuesday Confessional @ Confessions of a Stay at Home Mommy

Linkin’ with Lil’ Luna @ Lil’ Luna

Gluten Free Wednesdays @ The Gluten Free Homemaker

Will See it Wednesday @ Fabric Bows and More

Cast Party @ Lady Behind the Curtain

DIY Thrifty Thursdays @ Thrifty 101

Creative Juices Thursday @ Momnivore’s Dilemma

100 Ideas Under $100 @ Beyond the Picket Fence

Strut Your Stuff @ Somewhat Simple

For the Kids Friday @ Sun Scholar’s

Feature Yourself Friday @ Fingerprints on the Fridge

My Favorite Things @ Stay at Home Nation

I Was Featured on Beneath the Rowan Tree!

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I recently shared this First Friendship Bracelet post…
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…on Beneath the Rowan Tree’s Monday Playdate.  And she loved it enough to feature it on today’s Monday Playdate!

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Beneath the Rowan Tree

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Thank you Beneath the Rowan Tree!  I’m glad you liked our bracelet!

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If you want to see the other amazing projects that were featured, and linked up, *click here*

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Have a great day!

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Lizz

Summer Bucket List Check-In

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I thought it would be a good idea to come back to our bucket list around the begining of each month to check our progress, and let you all know what we’ve been up to.  As many of you know, we’ve had a pretty crazy month, so I would have hoped to have done more by now.  Not to worry though; we’ll get movin’ soon!

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So, if you are reading this and don’t have a clue what I’m talking about (what’s a summer bucket list?), you can read the original post *here*.  This is basically a to-do list for the summer.  The idea and link up is from a lovely blog called Little Wonder Days. .

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Photobucket

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So let’s get this list updated!!

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  1. Go swimming at the pool  – We still want to do more though…
  2. Go to the beach
  3. Celebrate Skylar’s birthday at the park  – This party was great, except that I forgot to take pictures. (bad bad blogger!!) If I find some, I’ll post about it.
  4. Go camping
  5. Roast marshmallows and make S’mores
  6. Make a complete meal over a fire
  7. Catch and release fireflies
  8. Go horseback riding
  9. Ride in a paddle boat
  10. Go miniature golfing
  11. Teach Skylar how to play baseball
  12. Teach Skylar earn how to ride a bike – It was amazing to see quickly she picked this up
  13. Go to a play
  14. Visit the Art Institute, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Planetarium, and Aquarium – Skylar went the MSI with camp, so I think that counts.
  15. Ride the train
  16. Visit the Children’s Museum
  17. Visit the Zoo  – A great day out with Grandma and Grandpa.
  18. Take a bike ride to the botanical garden
  19. Go on a scavenger hunt
  20. Play flashlight tag
  21. Visit a farmers market
  22. Make homemade ice cream sandwiches
  23. Make frozen bananas
  24. Make Popsicles
  25. Go to a “you pick” farm
  26. Go to a waterpark
  27. Have a water balloon fight
  28. Go to an outdoor concert
  29. Make bubbles and a bubble wand
  30. Go to a parade
  31. See fireworks
  32. Visit a fair
  33. Go bowling
  34. Go to an amusement park
  35. Have a family game night
  36. Take a walk  – We’ve done this a few times (to the ice cream stand!)
  37. Go to the drive-in
  38. Go to a baseball game
  39. Read books outside
  40. Roller Skate
  41. Have a no-tv day
  42. Organize the house/spring cleaning
  43. Have a wii night
  44. Plant something and keep it alive
  45. Finally use our butterfly kit
  46. Try at least 10 new recipes
  47. Introduce a few new foods – This was pretty easy to get to with Skylar’s new dietary restrictions.
  48. Learn to jump rope
  49. Visit both ice cream shops near us often
  50. Make lemonade like I saw on Diners Drive-ins & Dives (by grinding whole lemons!) (See below for a video of this)
  51. Donate Skylar’s hair to locks of love – This was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen my kid do.  What a heart she’s got!  I did a whole post about this adventure.  You can read about it *here*

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Oh Dear.  Well, like I said, we really need to kick it into high gear if we’re going to do some damage to this list.  This upcoming weekend is going to be crazy busy, and I’m positive we will cross off at least 4 items off the list.  But I’m not telling which ones yet!!  You’ll have to come back to check out all of our adventures.

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Did you make a bucket list?  Feel free to share it in the comments area.  Is there something special you want to do this summer?  Tell us about it!

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Have a great weekend everyone!

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Lizz

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***Did you stick around for that Lemonade explaination??***

For those of you that are not familiar with the gloriousness that is Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives (Triple D), allow me to explain. It’s a show on the Food Network, with Guy Fieri. He travels around the country finding little hole-in-the-wall places with amazing food. This show makes me drool every time!

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The specific episode I was talking about is one where Guy goes to the Gold ‘N Silver Inn in Reno Nevada. They make a dish there called Baked Lemonade Porkchops. (For that amazing recipe, Click Here) I was most intrigued with the way they made their lemonade. They ground up whole lemons, and then strained out the pulp. I want to try this so bad!! I found a video of all of this, so if you are drooling like I am right now, check it out…

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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rA86w7EOF7k]

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First Friendship Bracelet

I remember summers as a kid.  I always went to camp, and I always had a great time.  There are many things that should be mandatory when one attends camp.  Nature walks, cookouts, capture the flag, and of course friendship bracelets.

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I have been waiting 6 summers for Skylar to have the dexterity to do this, and this summer is it!!  And it went really well…

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I thought we would start with a simple bracelet

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I’m not sure what the official name for this, so let’s just call this one “The Spiral”.  To get started with any friendship bracelet, you will need a variety of colored embroidery floss, and a safety pin.  Cut the floss into long strands (about the length of your arm), and tie them together on one end.  Poke the safety pin through the knot, and secure it to either the end of your pant leg or to a sock.  (This will help to anchor it for you while you work.

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Here’s how you get “The Spiral” done, as demonstrated by the amazing Skylar…

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First, grab the color you want to show on the outside (orange in our case) and hold it in your right hand.  Hold all of the other strings in our left hand.

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That hitchhiker’s thumb is actually necessary.  You need to wrap your chosen (orange) thread, up and around the thumb.  If done correctly it will look like a number 4

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Then you will take that orange string under and through the opening that was created.  Pull the string all the way through.

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Now, bend your thumb to release that string.

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Now, pull it tight.  Not crazy tight.  Just tight enough to look right.

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This step will be repeated however many times you would like (we did ten each).  Then switch you another color and do another set.  Keep going until the bracelet is as long as you desire.  This would also make a fun necklace.  Tie off the end, and cut off the access string.  I used a silly band to tie up the ends, but you could do a simple knot, or something fancier

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Now, all there is to do is think.

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Should I keep this?  Should I give it away?  Who would I give it to?  What colors should I use next? When will my mom stop taking my picture?

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(Cough, Cough) Okay, enough thinking.

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If you have smaller kids, you could always try this with thicker yarn.  I think Skylar did an amazing job with this one, so we will probably be trying some harder patterns next time.

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Until then, I hope you are all enjoying your summer so far.  Is there anything you plan on doing with your kids that you miss from summertime?  I’d love to hear about it!

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Have a great day!

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Lizz

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I will be sharing this post at these parties:

Kids Can Craft @ Sew Can Do

Will See it Wednesday @ Fabric Bows and More

Linkin’ with Lil’ Luna @ Lil’ Luna

Thrifty Thursday @ Thrifty 101

Creative Juices Thursday @ Momnivore’s Dilemma

Under $100 Link Party @ Beyond the Picket Fence

Strut your Stuff @ Somewhat Simple

Playdate @ Beneath the Rowan Tree


For the Kids Friday @ Sun Scholar’s

Feature Yourself Friday @ Fingerprints on the Fridge

Delicately Constructed Fridays @ Delicately Constructed

Simply Link Party @ Simply Designing

Party Mindie Style @ Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo

Sensational Sunday @ What’s for Dinner?

Link and Learn @ No Time for Flashcards

Craft-O-Maniac Monday Link Party @ Craft-O-Maniac

Craftastic Monday @ Sew Can Do

Inspire Me Monday @ Singing Three Little Birds

Tip Me Tuesday @ Tip Junkie

Too Cute Tuesday @ Funky Polka Dot Giraffe

Tuesday Time Out @ Reasons to Skip the Housework

Inspiration Board @ Homework; Today’s Assignment: Be Inspired

Summer Boredom Buster Link Party @ Thrifty 101

Creative Bloggers Party and Hop @ Homemaker on a Dime

Summer Bucket List

source

While finally catching up on reading some of my favorite blogs, I happened across a new (to me) blog called Little Wonder Days.  She had a great idea for a link up party:  A Summer Bucket List!  I thought it would be fun to give it a try.  (I found this through Moms for Xanax, who has the best blog name ever!)

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I thought it would be tough to come up with a good list, so I checked out the other lists for some inspiration.  After finding some really great ideas there, adding in my own, and talking it over with Skylar, we have our list.  I thought our list would be about 20 items long.  (ahem) Try 51.  I’m not sure we can do all of it, but we are sure gunna try!  And we will definately keep you posted on our progress.

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So, in no particular order…here is our Summer 2011 Bucket List:

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  1. Go swimming at the pool
  2. Go to the beach
  3. Celebrate Skylar’s birthday at the park
  4. Go camping
  5. Roast marshmallows and make S’mores
  6. Make a complete meal over a fire
  7. Catch and release fireflies
  8. Go horseback riding
  9. Ride in a paddle boat
  10. Go miniature golfing
  11. Teach Skylar how to play baseball
  12. Teach Skylar earn how to ride a bike
  13. Go to a play
  14. Visit the Art Institute, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Planetarium, and Aquarium
  15. Ride the train
  16. Visit the Children’s Museum
  17. Visit the Zoo
  18. Take a bike ride to the botanical garden
  19. Go on a scavenger hunt
  20. Play flashlight tag
  21. Visit a farmers market
  22. Make homemade ice cream sandwiches
  23. Make frozen bananas
  24. Make Popsicles
  25. Go to “you pick” farm
  26. Go to a waterpark
  27. Have a water balloon fight
  28. Go to an outdoor concert
  29. Make bubbles and a bubble wand
  30. Go to a parade
  31. See fireworks
  32. Visit a fair
  33. Go bowling
  34. Go to an amusement park
  35. Have a family game night
  36. Take a walk
  37. Go to the drive-in
  38. Go to a baseball game
  39. Read books outside
  40. Roller Skate
  41. Have a no-tv day
  42. Organize the house/spring cleaning
  43. Have a wii night
  44. Plant something and keep it alive
  45. Finally use our butterfly kit
  46. Try at least 10 new recipes
  47. Introduce a few new foods
  48. Learn to jump rope
  49. Visit both ice cream shops near us often
  50. Make lemonade like I saw on Diners Drive-ins & Dives (by grinding whole lemons!)
  51. Donate Skylar’s hair to locks of love

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Whew! I think we have a lot of work to do!  Are any of you inspired to create a summer bucket list of your own?  I would love to hear about it!

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Have a great rest of the week!

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Lizz

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***UPDATE***

For those of you that are not familiar with the gloriousness that is Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, allow me to explain.  It’s a show on the Food Network, with Guy Fieri.  He travels around the country finding little hole-in-the-wall places with amazing food.  This show makes me drool every time!

.

The specific episode I was talking about is one where Guy goes to the Gold ‘N Silver Inn in Reno Nevada.  They make a dish there called Baked Lemonade Porkchops. (For that amazing recipe, Click Here)  I was most intrigued with the way they made their lemonade.  They ground up whole lemons, and then strained out the pulp.  I want to try this so bad!!  I found a video of all of this, so if you are drooling like I am right now, check it out…

.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rA86w7EOF7k]

.

I will be linking this post to these parties:

Sensational Sundays @ What’s for Dinner?

Link & Learn @ No Time For Flashcards